What is self-care?
Self-care is not selfish. It is a daily practice, a deliberate and intentional process of tending to one’s mind, body, and spirit. Self-care includes one’s ability to take care of the activities of daily living (eating, showering, exercise, sleeping, attending to medical concerns) as well as activities that one engages in to relax or attain emotional well-being (meditating, journaling, visiting a counselor or therapist).
Why should I practice self-care?
Everyone deserves to practice self-care to help them find a state of good mental and physical health, reduce stress, meet emotional needs, maintain one’s relationships (romantic and platonic), and find a balance between one’s personal and professional/academic life.
How do people practice self-care?
While there is a lot about self-care that is universal (sleeping, eating, etc.), there are many different ways individuals can tailor their self-care to suit their needs. Some individuals may enjoy journaling, whereas others enjoy practicing embroidery or painting as a form of self-care. For some, self-care means unplugging from social media, and for others, it means letting themselves binge watch a season of their favorite show after a particularly stressful week.
What are the different ways to practice self-care?
Self-care can be practiced in many different ways including physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, personal, and professional. Some examples of physical self-care would be eating healthy and getting enough sleep. Psychological self-care includes self-reflection and practicing asking for help. Emotional self-care can be practicing self-compassion and forgiveness. Spiritual self-care may be volunteering for a cause or taking a yoga class. Personal self-care can include making a vision board or just relaxing. Professional self-care can include leaving work at work and taking vacation days. The Self-Care Wheel, below, has many more examples.
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Create your own Self-Care Wheel!
You can create your own self-care wheel by printing out the Self-Care Wheel Template. You can also take the Self-Care Assessment to evaluate how you practice self-care.
Take some time to ask yourself the ways in which you currently practice self-care. Do you eat foods that sustain you and give you energy to get through the day? Are you really good at scheduling medical appointments? Do you unplug from social media or write in a journal as often as you tell yourself you will? Have you rewatched your favorite movies or tv shows recently? Do you make time for reflection or find ways to contribute to causes you believe in? Have you made time to see your friends or asked for help when you needed it? If possible, is your work space comfortable and comforting? Do you feel like you have balance in all the different areas of your life?